Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell thought Tammy Daybell was 'possessed' before her suspicious death

Lori Vallow and Chad Daybell thought Tammy Daybell was 'possessed' before her suspicious death
Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow are accused of killing Joshua Vallow, Tylee Ryan and Tammy Daybell (Fremont County Sherif's Office/ Madison County Sheriff's Office)

FREMONT COUNTY, IDAHO: In February this year, an autopsy for Tammy Daybell’s death was completed. The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office announced that the report was finished over a year after her remains were exhumed. Tammy died on October 19, 2019, two weeks before her then-husband, Chad Daybell, exchanged vows with Lori Vallow -- mother of Tylee Ryan and Joshua “JJ” Vallow. The couple believed Tammy was possessed by a spirit named “Viola”.

Her cause of death was initially deemed as natural, but later it was termed as "suspicious." Her remains were taken out from the grave after a probe was launched into the missing case of Tylee, 16, and seven-year-old Joshua. The kids’ remains were found buried on Chad’s property in Salem, Massachusetts, after months of searching. The Utah Office of the Medical Examiner did Tammy’s autopsy, the details of which were not disclosed. The county sheriff reportedly said in February that the results “will not be made public at this time as it is evidence in an open and ongoing investigation. We will release additional information as it becomes available.”


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Though Tammy’s exact cause of death has not been released yet, Lori and Chad were indicted on first-degree murder charges in the kids’ deaths as well as Tammy’s on Tuesday, May 25. Fremont County Prosecutor Lindsey Blake said in a statement, “Local, state and federal law enforcement professionals and local and state prosecutors have worked tirelessly for nearly a year and a half to gather the facts and evidence necessary to bring forward charges on behalf of Tylee, JJ, and Tammy.

Blake added, "Due to the ongoing safety restrictions imposed by the courts during the pandemic, we just recently were given permission to present information to the Grand Jury for their review. They deliberated and determined there is probable cause to believe that the Daybells willfully and knowingly conspired to commit several crimes that led to the death of three innocent people.”

The new indictments did not explain the authorities’ theories behind Tammy, Tylee, and Joshua’s deaths. But it said that the Doomsday cult pair’s “religious beliefs” were a factor in the killings. It has been reported that Lori and Chad talked about Tammy via text messages and claimed she was “possessed by a spirit” named “Viola”. The day Tylee was last seen, Chad signed an application to increase the amount of Tammy’s LifeMap insurance, the indictment stated. When the amount of the life insurance was increased to the maximum allowed under the policy, Alex Cox -- Lori’s now-deceased brother -- attempted to kill Tammy on October 9, 2019, but she survived. She also made a call to 911 and informed them that a masked man who shot at her using a paintball gun in her driveway.

Joshua Vallow and Tylee Ryan (Fremont County Sheriff's Office)

Then ten days later, on October 1 she died. At the time, Chad told investigators she died in her sleep; however, charges indicate otherwise. Also, her father, Ron Douglas, said she was in good health when he met her two weeks before her death. Court documents stated that on the day of Tammy’s death, Cox was in the parking lot of a church not very far from Chad’s Salem home.

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